Admin Pro Forum

Share best-practices with your administrative peers. Pose a question, offer advice, or just be a fly on the wall.

Question: “I am working on a project to enhance the client’s experience and would like to hear your ideas on what you do for your clients to offer that extra special ‘Wow’ touch?" — Laura Watkins
Question: "I am the Chairman of our Safety Committee, which meets once a month.  But no one cares what is going on.  We decided to do a potluck meal last month, but once everyone finished eating, it was back to the same boring routine. No one ever seems to have any input, knowledge or enthusiasm to offer at the meetings.  How can I make our meetings more fun and exciting and get our members to participate more in our discussions?” — Keliiokalani A. Tauiliili
Question: “We have a co-worker who is cooperative, personable, cheerful and a great employee. But his whistling is driving our office up a tree. Some people find it extremely irritating when they are trying to concentrate. Subtle and direct remarks have been made to him regarding the whistling, but he says it helps him relax and perform his duties better. Any suggestions on how to curb the whistling but not hurt his feelings?” — No longer whistling Dixie
Question: “I am an Administrative Assistant with more than 15 years’ experience working for an Assistant VP, an Executive Director, an Engineering Manager and a Director of Marketing. I was also responsible for their staff and assisting other departments when needed. Our company has gone through two buyouts in less than a year and the reorganization leaves me without a job unless an opening becomes available. I have applied for two administrative positions over the past nine months. I was not notified whether or not I was being considered. I’m not getting responses to résumés sent outside the organization either. My skills are up-to-date. The rumor is that the new CEO does not want anyone over a particular age in this company. Unfortunately, I fall in the age category mentioned. I know this is age discrimination that I cannot prove, so how do I get noticed and stay marketable?” —Sheilah Trigg
Question: “I will be meeting with upper management about establishing basic company policies. Some long-time employees come and go whenever and spend too much time on the Internet or personal calls. It’s starting to affect morale. How do I convince them that the company needs ‘basic’ policies such as progressive discipline, drug/alcohol abuse, annual reviews, fair and consistent treatment, etc.?” — Pat
Question: “I work for an engineering/environmental consulting firm. We currently have accrual limits for vacation and sick leave. Employees accrue six days of sick leave per year, and the limit is 240 hours (one month). At no time shall the total accrued vacation time exceed two times the employee’s annual vacation benefit. We do pay out half of accrued sick leave hours at the time an employee terminates. I am interested in hearing how other firms handle vacation and sick leave accruals, and if accrued sick leave hours are paid out at termination.” — Peggy
Question: “Does anybody offer employees a broad range of fringe benefits beyond the standard ones most companies offer, especially in light of the current economy? Our boss can’t really give us raises, but he would like to offer additional benefits that could be used by all employees. Is anyone aware of any benefits we could offer, (gas, groceries, etc)?” — Lyndsey Bell
Question: “My organization will be bringing in another company to conduct a salary survey.  Has anyone been through this? What can I expect? Can you give me some tips to maximize my potential pay rate?” — Karen
Question: “My company has just launched a ‘Career Ladder’ with various tracks and role profiles. The administrative track is the only one in which the levels are related to the status of the boss. In other words, you can be an Executive Assistant only if you support a President. As I was hired as an executive assistant, but support two senior vice presidents, effectively I am being demoted.  Does anyone else have a similar experience with Career Ladders and/or administrative rankings based on whom you support rather than your skills?” — Julie Thomas
Question: “Do you have any suggestions on how to take good minutes at a meeting?” — Shawndelle Kurka